Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
How motivated do you feel your daughter is to seek help for how she is feeling?
How far away from home is her college?
well, she is going today for an appointment to the counseller service at her college. I am here for a week, today is the first day... so I take that as a good sign... and good start.. recognition by her that help is needed.
She is studying in New York City, and her home is in Nicaragua, (she is not Nicaraguan, our family are there, I work in international development) just for clarification.
she is very well travelled, has done summer courses abroad, so this in not home sickness
Thank you for the additional information. It helps.
Although I cannot diagnose your daughter without seeing her for an evaluation, it sounds like your daughter may have Major depression and anxiety disorder. It is common for people to experience both diagnosis together. Since she did get some relief of symptoms from the Paxil, this may also indicate she has depression and anxiety.
The main symptom of concern is her suicidal feelings. It is important that the school counselor she sees assesses her risk of suicide. Your daughter may be saying she only has thoughts of suicide but being sure is always a priority. Once her feelings of suicide are addressed, the remainder of her symptoms should be treated.
Your daughter may want to consider medications even if she feels the Paxil was not that effective. Whenever medications are used for treatment, it is very common for people to need to try at least one or two different medications or more before finding one that helps. This is because everyone's body chemistry is different. So if one medication works for one person, it may not work for another or it might even cause adverse side effects. So tell her not to be discouraged. She will find the right medication.
The second type of treatment is therapy. If she is able to get individual therapy through the school counseling that will help. But if not, she may need to see someone off campus. A therapist with a Master's Degree or above can help.
The third type of treatment is self help. This includes learning more about depression and anxiety so she can help herself. Also, she may want to consider support groups on and off the internet. The support she could get from others who feel as she does is invaluable.
Here are some resources to help her:
You can get ideas and support on how to help her from NAMI, which is the National Alliance for Mental Health. They offer numerous resources to assist those with a mental illness and those trying to help.
For her anxiety:
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne is excellent for any fears. It is self help and contains everything from supplements to relaxation techniques.
The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by Bill Knaus Ed.D. and Jon Carlson Psy.D. Ed.D.
From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett http://helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm
The books can be found on Amazon.com or she may be able to find them at her local library.
I hope this has helped you,